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Spireites Spotlight on Relegation Rivals

7 April 2016

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With six matches left for the Spireites and the battle at the bottom heating up, here's a look at the differing situations across the relegation rivals.

Last weekend the Spireites ended their run of four successive league games without a victory with a 4-2 win over Port Vale.

Late goals from Gboly Ariyibi and Jay O’Shea were the difference in an end-to-end affair at the Proact. AJ Leitch-Smith had put Vale ahead but Jamal Campbell-Ryce’s goal just after the break levelled the game. The Spireites then took the lead through Sam Hird’s header but that was cancelled out through JJ Hooper. However Ariyibi managed to score from a corner before O’Shea’s twenty-yard strike sealed the win.

Going into the match at Barnsley the Spireites sit in 17th place and are two points clear of Oldham in 21st and the drop zone.

Shrewsbury Town

Shrewsbury are currently level on points with the Spireites however they suffered their first league defeat since February 2 last weekend as they fell 1-5 to League One table toppers Wigan Athletic. 

Sullay Kaikai had given the home side the lead however Wigan them steamrolled the Shrews with goals from Conor McAleny, Yanic Wildschut, Jason Pearce and a double from Will Grigg.

The Shrews difficult spell continues as they face five fixtures in seventeen days which include games against all four of the sides currently in the play-off places. Trips to Millwall, Gillingham and Walsall are accompanied with the hosting of Bradford City, who have only lost two of their last 12 league games in League One. They also face Sheffield United who still have hopes of reaching the play-offs.

Even though the Shrews sit two points from the relegation zone, with these fixtures there’s a huge chance they could be in the relegation battle until the end.

Blackpool

An impressive win over play-off chasing Southend last weekend allowed Blackpool to open up a one-point gap between themselves and the relegation places and put themselves within a point of Chesterfield. Mark Cullen and Jacob Blyth scored to earn a pivotal three points for Neil McDonald’s side.

Blackpool’s 2-0 victory was their third in four League One games, helping them climb out of the relegation zone in recent weeks. The Seasiders have an opportunity to extend their strong run of form when they face 23rd placed Colchester United next. 

A visit to Rochdale follows before a Lancashire derby with Fleetwood Town, which could be crucial in the fight for survival in three weeks’ time.

Fleetwood Town

Fleetwood have picked up four point this week, after losing a 1-0 lead against Swindon they managed to bounce back picking up a victory over Peterborough United at Highbury on Tuesday. Wes Burns’ fifth goal in eight games gave them the lead before Eggert Jonsson’s header sealed the game.

The Cod Army face tough away trips to Southend and Millwall in coming weeks but do have the advantage of playing to relegation rivals at home. First Fleetwood host Oldham with only one point currently separating the sides before they welcome Blackpool a week later, who are level on points with Fleetwood at the moment.

These two games will be crucial not only for the teams involved but for all the other sides involved in the relegation battle as they could make or break any team’s surge for survival.

Oldham Athletic

The Latics didn’t play at the weekend but did manage to earn three points on Tuesday night against an out-of-form Swindon Town side. Liam Kelly scored after just ten minutes before Curtis Main’s late goal confirmed the win for Oldham.

Oldham have now three of their last five games - including victories over both Blackpool and the Spireites. However, they host promotion chasing Walsall this upcoming weekend before travelling to Barnsley, who won the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy this past weekend, on Tuesday night. 

John Sheridan’s side currently occupy the last relegation spot and have some tough fixtures ahead, making the fixtures against Fleetwood and Crewe all that more important.

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